Foul Mudammas is said to be one of the healthiest foods you can come across.
Also known as ful mudammas, this dish is a staple in the country of its origin – Egypt.
Made from dried fava beans, also known as broad beans, foul is normally eaten for breakfast.
It’s enjoyed throughout the Middle East.
I remember my visits to Egypt fondly where I dined on this authentic bean dish in local eateries.
Cairo is an amazing city, not only because of the pyramids, endless antiquities, and ancient ruins, but for the sights and sounds of the city itself, and the things that go back for thousands of years.
One of those things is the fava bean, which has even been found in the tombs of some of the pharaohs.
It is often served with a variation of tomato, onion, chopped parsley, garlic and lemon.
Then it’s topped with olive oil and even a boiled egg cut into pieces.
Some like to flavor it with cumin, which will give it a very distinctive Middle Eastern taste.
I love this dish not only because it tastes great, but it is packed with nutrients, and raises dopamine levels which will in fact make you feel happier and drive away depression.
Also one cup of these beans has 13 grams of protein and only 200 calories, so it really packs a punch and will keep you full longer.
An Easy, Satisfying Breakfast Dish
Foul mudammas is a very easy dish to make.
If you don’t want to take the time to soak the beans overnight, it is quite easy to find prepared beans in a can.
You can then quickly add a few additional ingredients to it and have a quick bowl of breakfast, along with some nice pita bread.
Just as an FYI, a delicious alternative is to cook fresh favas, for an equally, but different, flavorful meal.
We visited Muscat last week to see my cousin and his family.
During one of our visits, his wife (who is from Iraq) served us some cooked dried fava beans.
In this form, you can just pop them out of their skin like an edamame.
It is a really quick and tasty snack!
So let’s dive in and find out a little more about what foul mudammas is and how you can make it at home.
What is Foul Mudammas?
Foul Mudammas is a stew of cooked fava beans served with olive oil and topped with a variation of tomato, onion, chopped parsley, garlic and lemon.
Simply put, this is a dish that originated in Egypt and has been eaten there for centuries.
It consists of reconstituting dried fava beans and then cooking them down over medium heat until they are soft.
I alway prefer to make this dish from scratch but you can also use prepared beans found in a can.
It’s a pretty decent alternative but I recommend soaking the beans yourself.
It doesn’t take very long to assemble and then you can just leave them to soak.
Then using a potato masher, they are crushed until they have the consistency of refried beans.
Garlic can be added, along with fresh lemon juice, tomato, and cumin if you would like.
It is then topped with olive oil and chopped onion to finish.
This is one of the healthiest most nutritious breakfasts you will find during your world travels.
Just in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced fool.
It really is one of my favorite breakfast dishes to have due to it’s simplicity and flavor profile.
You always feel like you’ve had a hearty meal afterwards and definitely don’t feel full until lunchtime.
How to Make Foul Mudammas
Foul mudammas is an incredibly simple dish to make.
The following day you will notice that beans have plumped up.
Now they are ready to be drained in a colander.
Put drained beans into a pot with a heavy bottom and fill the pot with water to cover beans plus a little extra.
Bring the beans to a boil and turn down to a simmer.
Simmer them for several hours until beans become soft.
You can just leave them on a low heat whilst you go about your day.
You may need to add more water.
Near the end of their cooking, add chopped garlic for some flavor.
Once the beans have softened, use a potato masher to crush the beans to help thicken the mixture.
You will have a combination of mashed, semi mashed, and unmashed beans.
This is the best way to serve the dish.
It is also best served warm with some extra toppings for a fuller flavor.
Start by sprinkling some cumin all over and then drizzle some olive oil all over.
Finally, add some chopped tomatoes and onions for a little crunch.
Breakfast in the Middle East
Breakfast in the Middle East is always a treat.
You get to experience all of the best flavors of the Middle East in one meal.
It includes fresh bread, usually bought from the bakery so it’s delicious and warm still.
A popular bread for breakfast is Ka’ak – a sesame seed covered oblong shaped loaf.
And if you really love bread, like I do, having freshly baked bread is better than anything else.
If you’re lucky, some of the cheeses are fried!
One of the wonderful things about this kind of breakfast is that it’s very filling and will keep you going for a long time.
It’s also very nutritious because you’re eating protein-packed dishes with beans such as chickpeas and fava beans.
You’re also getting a nice punch of fibre, perfect for a morning meal.
Why Are Fava Beans So Good for Middle Eastern Cooking?
You’ll find fava beans in a variety of dishes, either the fresh green beans or the dried brown beans.
Fava beans are particularly easy to grow in this part of the world, hence their popularity.
They’re simple to cook – just pop them out of their pods.
Apart from Foul Mudammas, my favorite fava bean dish is Foul Akhdar.
This is a dish with the fresh green fava beans with onions, olive oil, tomato and can be cooked with or without meat.
The main benefit about them is that they’re cheap, nutritious and very tasty!
They can be stored easily and as long as they’re kept dry, they’ll keep for a long time.